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The Courage California Voter Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.
Why is this race important?
Jerry McNerny is from New Mexico and has lived in California since 1990. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2007. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to continue to be an independent voice for the 9th District.
Jerry McNerney currently serves in the House of Representatives, where he has written and passed laws that include the better treatment of veterans returning home with traumatic brain injury, as well as improved training for new green jobs and increased investment in infrastructure for electric vehicles. He currently serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Prior to his election to Congress, he worked as a renewable energy engineer and founded a company that manufactures wind turbines.
Jerry McNerney has introduced a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would limit funding for candidates and ballot measures from direct donations from individual citizens, restrict campaign contributions, and essentially eliminate Political Action Committees.
Jerry McNerney is running against Marla Livengood (R) and Antonio Amador (R). According to recent election results, Democrats can win this seat but it's often a close race. Though we disagree with McNerney’s often punitive stances on immigration, as well as calls for increased funding for law enforcement and surveillance at the border, his position in Congress helps to advance progressive policies on issues such as climate change and makes him the strongest choice for in this race.
Last updated: 2020-02-13
Tracie Stafford is a 53 year old resident of Elk Grove, born to a single mother and orphaned at the age of 12 along with her 4 siblings. She is the first in her family to earn a college degree. According to Stafford, she is running to end corporate-dominated politics and to give a voice to the unheard, under-served and disenfranchised.
Stafford is a community leader, an elected assembly district delegate, and was appointed by the governor as Chair of the city of Sacramento’s small business board. Stafford supports legislation that closes the gender and racial wage gap while ensuring that women, the LGBTQ+ community and people of color are provided with equal opportunities in the workplace. She will work closely with labor to ensure that workers are being treated justly and with dignity regarding pay, benefits, and access to promotions.
Stafford’s commitment to justice and equity is fueled by her personal experiences with poverty, discrimination, child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. She plans to advocate to preserve confidential, unrestricted access to affordable, high quality, culturally sensitive health care services, including the full range of reproductive services, contraception and abortion, without requiring guardian, judicial, parental, or spousal consent or notification.
Stafford brings a strong track record and deep relationships in progressive politics and public service. Among many other roles and affiliations, Stafford has served as President of the Women Democrats of Sacramento County, as Political Action Chair for the Sacramento NAACP, and as a founder of Indivisible Women of California.
Stafford is challenging incumbent Jim Cooper (D), who has consistently opposed progressive priorities by siding with corporate lobbyists and failing his constituents on many issues include the environment and worker protections. Other candidates include Mushtaq Tahirkheli (D), and Eric Rigard (R). Stafford is the strongest choice in a crowded field because of her track record as a progressive champion for the underserved and disenfranchised, and as an advocate for her region’s priorities in the Democratic Party.
Voting for Stafford is an opportunity to elect a legislator who will accurately represent the perspective and priorities of her district in Congress. Courage California strongly endorses Tracie Stafford for State Assembly.
Last updated: 2020-02-13
Why is this race important?
Susan Eggman is from Turlock, CA, just south of State Senate District 5, and currently resides in Stockton, CA. She is the incumbent in this race. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Senate to fight for her community’s right to clean water, ensure that veterans receive the care they have earned, and increase access to quality education throughout the Central Valley.
Eggman advocates for her community's needs in the state capitol. As an assembly member, she’s led the project to develop a California State University in Stockton, has challenged delays in establishing the French Camp CA Medical Clinic, and has been an ongoing voice of opposition towards the proposal to develop tunnels through the San Joaquin Delta. Prior to becoming a state legislature, Eggman worked as a social worker focused on addressing issues pertaining to substance abuse, and also served in the Stockton City Council and the United States Army as a combat medic.
Eggman is running against Mani Grewal (D), Jesús Andrade (R), Kathleen Garcia (R), and Jim Ridenor (R). In 2019, as an assembly member, Eggman scored 86 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Eggman has consistently shown great courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.
According to our analysis, Eggman is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-13
Board of Supervisor Races
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below county races on your ballot.
Rhodesia Ransom is from San Francisco and has lived in Tracy for nearly 20 years. According to campaign materials, she is running for Board of Supervisors because she wants to continue to collaborate with local groups and use her decades of community knowledge to support families and advance public safety.
Ransom is a member of the Tracy City Council, where she works to address the systemic issues in housing, education, and job growth that challenge her community. Ransom has co-founded several organizations and issue-based boards, including Sow A Seed Community Foundation, Tracy Police Activities League, and the Tracy Community Homelessness Task Force. Over the years, she has been involved in initiatives designed to improve economic outcomes in the City of Tracy, including serving 7 years on the Planning Commission, and acting as a Board Member on the San Joaquin Partnership. These efforts have provided Ransom with an understanding of how homelessness, access to education, and limited economic opportunities are interconnected issues that must be addressed comprehensively.
Ransom is running against candidates Veronica Vargas, Mateo Bedolla, and Robert Rickman. Ransom stands out as the progressive choice because of her extensive work in the community, her knowledge of local policy, and her commitment to addressing issues through strategic collaboration.
According to our analysis, Rhodesia Ransom is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-10
This proposition would provide $9 billion for desperately needed renovations to public preschools and grade schools throughout the state, and $6 billion for construction to community colleges, the Cal State system, and the UC system. This will allow the state of California to use tax revenue to pay for improvements that local communities cannot afford themselves.
The funding would come from bonds the state would pay back over 35 years, totaling an estimated $26 billion, which includes $15 billion in principal and $11 billion in interest. This investment is well worth the costs. It takes money, after all, to ensure that students -- especially those in districts that can’t afford major capital improvement projects -- do not have to learn in dangerous environments.
The vast majority of Democrats in the state legislature support it, as does Gov. Newsom, and the only major opposition is a group called the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. This is the group famous for destroying California’s school funding system in 1978 through another proposition, ironically one that was also dubbed Prop 13. The group spends most of its time lobbying to reduce tax rates. It has never shown any interest in supporting California’s children, at least if that means wealthy individuals or giant corporations would pay their fair share in taxes. Without question, 2020’s Prop 13 is worth the investment since it means children will soon be able to attend school in buildings that are retrofitted to withstand earthquakes and no longer have lead in their water.
We strongly recommend a YES vote on Prop 13.
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